Last Thursday the U.S. House of Representatives’ judiciary committee passed a bill that makes the online activity of every American available to police and attorneys upon request under the guise of protecting children from pornography.
The Republican-majority sponsored bill is called the Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act of 2011.
It has nothing to do with pornography, and was opposed by over 30 civil liberties and consumer advocacy organizations, as well as one brave indie ISP that is urging its customers to do everything they can to protest the invasion of privacy.
“Protecting Children” forces ISPs to retain customer names, addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and dynamic IP addresses.
It’s like having your wallet plus the web sites you visit tracked and handed over on request. These logs are now going to be retained for the scope of one and a half years.
(I have to wonder if ISPs can sell this data, too.)
This has nothing to do with porn. In case you’re like the Reps that passed this nightmare and you’ve forgotten: pornography is legal in the United States.
It is pedophilia that is illegal. But for the sake of harnessing hysteria to get a bill passed, clearly these particular Republicans find it convenient to conflate “pornographers” as pedophiles. Last time I checked in on the matter, pedophiles did not operate within the laws surrounding adult pornography. -Violet Blue via ZDnet.com
The government has already shown that it is irresponsible and abusive with the powers already granted with such things as the Patriot Act. Now it wants 18 months of range to expand its abuse.
There are people, even now, being imprisoned for 10+ years or forced to plea for over a year for child pornography without ever seeing the evidence against them, evidence that would 'change' for the worse during the course of the trial the longer that the defendant held out on that plea. That plea including signing away their rights to sue in the case the findings were found to be non-existent or of a dubious nature.
Computer records and such are notoriously easy to doctor and alter in any case. This is an open door to allowing anyone with minimal powers to have 18 months of such to do with as they please.
We need to put a stop to government invasion of privacy and their contracting ISPs to do their snooping for them.
Please sign this petition and strongly urge your Representatives to start reviewing their right to invade our privacy and online business.